[Rd] Citation for R

A.J. Rossini blindglobe at gmail.com
Tue Jun 14 10:06:02 CEST 2005

On 6/14/05, Friedrich.Leisch at tuwien.ac.at <Friedrich.Leisch at tuwien.ac.at> wrote:
> >>>>> On Tue, 14 Jun 2005 08:42:59 +1000 (EST),
> >>>>> Gordon K Smyth (GKS) wrote:
>  > On Tue, June 14, 2005 12:49 am, Thomas Lumley said:
>  >> On Mon, 13 Jun 2005, Gordon K Smyth wrote:
>  >>
>  >>> This is just a note that R would get a lot more citations if the
>  >>> recommended citation was an article in a recognised journal or from a
>  >>> recognised publisher.
>  >>>
>  >>
>  >> This is unfortunately true, but R is *not* an article or a book, it is a
>  >> piece of software.  I don't think I'm the only person who thinks it is
>  >> counterproductive in the long run to encourage users to cite an article
>  >> that they probably haven't read instead of citing the software they
>  >> actually used.
>  >>
>  >> Jan's suggestion of the Journal of Statistical Software might provide a
>  >> solution, since JSS *does* publish software.
>  >>
>  >> -thomas
>  > In the biology world, it is common to publish an article
>  > announcing a software project, and to cite that.  The referees of
>  > the article are expected to try out and comment on the software.
>  > This gives the authors credit, and ensures that both the article
>  > and the software have been peer refereed, at least to a limited
>  > extent.
> How do you cite books in this world, or to but the question in another
> way: How do you make sure a book is peer-reviewd? After all it is
> quite easy to become a "publisher" and publish ones own books. Many
> university departments I know are registered ISBN publishers
> (including our department).  Must be hard to distinguish "real" books
> from others, I guess.

Fritz - 

That's silly.  As someone pointed out, the issue is with the
publisher, not the citation.  If R-Core were a generally well-known
and regarded publishing house such as Springer or Microsoft, it would
not be a problem.  But it's still a nebulous entity to MANY people,
and so many people fail to understand this open source stuff.  It's
seriously discouraged by most journals to cite technical reports, for
example.  And perhaps, R could be considered more of a long-ish
technical report than a book?   Though perhaps Peter D. could be
considered the "editor"?  (these questions are not those that I need
to ask, obviously!)

(just yesterday, I was asked by a reasonably intelligent colleague,
with respect to corporate packaging of R: "So they (corporate
packagers) just pick some version and package it, right?"  and my
flabbergasted response was:

"and so, what the heck do you think they (corporate packagers) do with
SAS, S-PLUS, and SPSS, and why do you think it's different...?").


"Commit early,commit often, and commit in a repository from which we can easily
roll-back your mistakes" (AJR, 4Jan05).

A.J. Rossini
blindglobe at gmail.com

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